|Written by Jane Hyde|
|Thursday, 13 October 2011 16:50|
We drove the first Eagle Speedster back in ’09, but now we have sampled the second ‘lightweight’ generation we want more…
Words: Jim Patten & Pictures: James Lipman/Eagle GB
Argument is futile. If you keep your head in a metaphorical bucket of sand and consider only what the factory might have produced, then we suggest you read no further as our words might lead to offence. If, however, your mind is open to wonderful new thoughts then join us on an automotive fantasy.
Eagle E-types is an interesting place to be, as little if anything passes them by without significant input. The philosophy adopted by Henry Pearman, the founder of the company, is about marketing the very best a standard production E-type can offer. Building on that strength are the detailed restorations of original cars and the high profile lightweight E-type, 86 PJ. Perhaps best known by the general public are the amazing re-engineered Eagle E-types, although it has to be said, these are in limited numbers. So when Eagle produced its own interpretation of what the E-type could
Interest was huge and although the occasional detractor thought the whole thing heresy, most observers were visibly affected by the sheer impact of the shape. Paul didn’t rest either, his agile mind continued to probe deeper, reckoning the next Speedster would be an ideal platform to show just what Eagle is capable of. The shape as signed off on the first project would remain, with a few subtle improvements. Retaining the original XK engine design, the specification would not look out of place on a 21st century new car description.
RS Panels once again formed the body, based around the original E-type floorpan and bulkhead measurements but fabricated in aluminium with a seamless finish throughout. Even the petrol flap has lost its finger-hold, using a push-down/release system instead. Inside, the floorpan has been lowered, allowing the seats to be set deeper down in the car, complimenting the low rakish windscreen. This time around wipers would be fitted.
With the newly created shell delivered to Eagle’s workshop, Brace set about the build. There is a lot of E-type still in this car, albeit enhanced and improved. Everything in the engine, though, is examined and often redesigned, built to use modern fuel-injection and individual throttle bodies operated through the latest generation ECU. Power remains very impressive at 325bhp, and with 350lb ft of torque coming in at 3,600rpm it is eminently usable too. Aluminium is also used for the five-speed gearbox and differential casings, offering useful weight loss but retaining the necessary strength.
Thanks to Eagle GB
To read more about this Jaguar see the November 2011 issue of Jaguar World.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 10 November 2011 12:20|